CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Two vital baseball statistical guides by Erwin prepare bettors

28 February 2008

Among the questions asked annually before the regular baseball season begins are "Where can I find the scores, money lines and totals of all the games played last season?" and "Does anyone offer lifetime career record of pitchers against other teams -- and how about earned run averages against those teams?" Also, "How does (name the team) do against groundball, flyball or power pitchers?" and "Where can I find how teams do against lefties or on artificial turf?"

Perhaps they're looking for a pattern, a trend or trying to develop a system or method of handicapping a team before the season gets under way.

In any case, there are few resources available to find it all under one book cover and two of them have arrived early enough for handicappers to start their research.

Luckily, Phil Erwin of Portland, Ore., has been recording all this material into two books annually for decades. He's dedicated, serious and always on time with his two books, "Baseball Insight Annual 2008" (201 pages, 7x8 plastic spiralbound, $32.95) and his "Pitching Aces 2008" (148 pages, 5x8 plastic spiral bound, $22.95).

The annual reflects how often teams went over or under anywhere from 6 to 13 (or more) runs at home or away for the past three years, also reflecting which ballparks lend themselves to higher than expected run production. Additionally, the information shows how teams performed as a favorite or dog in a variety of situations, how teams did on grass vs. turf overall or at night, day, with quality starts in one- or two-run games.

The pages provide the score for every game, with the line, the total, the starting pitchers for both teams, and indications of day or night, bullpen support, number of earned runs and the date the game was played. The type of playing surface are listed for each team. Thus you can see trends such as streaks starting and ending or a team on fire or one with a sputtering offense.

From pages 170 on, starting with Matt Albers and ending with Barry Zito, the annual shows pitchers with five or more starts in 2007 and how they did vs. all other teams. (For example, Josh Beckett of Boston was 25-9 overall, with a 3.00 ERA overall. On the road he had a 2.l0 ERA, was 15-8 at night; he beat the Orioles four times against one loss with an ERA of 3.28. His games went over 16 times, under 14 times.

In "Pitching Aces," you get a three-year summary for major starting pitchers as well as career record against all opponents. Those interested in Quality Starts will find it all here.

Looking at Houston's Roy Oswalt: He's 38-14 at home for the past three years, has a 16-5 record during that time from September to October, is 5-0 against Cincinnati with an ERA of 1.83 since 2005. He must like pitching against the Reds since he's 18-4 against them during his career. Arizona is another favorite of his, showing an 8-1 lifetime mark against the Diamondbacks. Overall, in home day games, he's 11-1 since 2005 with a 2.29 ERA in that situation.

True, it doesn't mean this kind of activity will continue in 2008, but it's nice to know and possibly use as when making tight decisions. The book lists more than 140 major starting pitchers listed, and you can see how much bullpen support they got; the number and percentage of quality starts they had plus how often their games went over or under as a favorite or dog.

For those who want the Baseball Insight Logs in CD-ROM format, Erwin has it in dBase 5.0 (dbf) and DOS or ascii text (.txt) and Excel .(xls) files. You must have a program that can use that data; text files can be read by any word processor; xls can be interpreted by spreadsheets. You can get disks for last season for $25.95; three years for $69.95 and 10 years for $119.95.

Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com